Schizoaffective Disorder Resources for Caregivers, Family, and Friends:
Helping individuals with schizoaffective disorder
As a caregiver, you are an important person in the life of someone with schizoaffective disorder. It is your support that will help him or her. Your care, along with medicine, therapy, interventions, and peer support, is essential to helping a friend or family member with schizoaffective disorder feel better. As a caregiver, you may take on many different roles. For example, you may help to identify early signs of relapse by listening to their complaints of symptoms and observing their behavior changes. These roles help provide support through the treatment process.
Making sure that your friend or family member is taking his or her medicine is one of the most important roles for a caregiver. Not taking medicine is a common problem for people with schizoaffective disorder. There are many reasons for this, such as forgetting to take their medication or because they do not believe they are sick.
In addition, providing simple tools like an alarm, daily calendar check-box, or a weekly pill holder can also help.
The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can be managed with medication and therapy. Schizoaffective disorder is unpredictable; even after a person has been feeling or acting better for a while, symptoms may return. The healthcare team working with your friend or family member will develop a treatment plan that will help manage their symptoms.
Kindly. Clearly. And simply. These 3 things mean a lot when talking to someone with schizoaffective disorder. It is also important to maintain a low-stress environment. A peaceful and quiet home can really help. You may find that it is easier for a person with schizoaffective disorder if people speak one at a time and if voices are kept down. Try to use language that is positive and supportive instead of critical. A person with schizoaffective disorder needs encouragement and understanding.
You may feel ashamed to talk about the disease, but there is no shame in having a person with schizoaffective disorder in your family or being their friend. Talking about it may help you cope. It may also help educate people about the disease. This will help them understand that no one causes schizoaffective disorder, just as no one causes cancer or heart disease. It is not the fault of the person with schizoaffective disorder. And it is not the fault of that person’s friends or family. Schizoaffective disorder is a disease that can be managed. Deciding whether to talk about schizoaffective disorder with others is a personal decision that caregivers and the individual with schizoaffective disorder should make together.
Schizoaffective disorder has completely changed your friend or family member’s life. But it has also completely changed yours. Consider joining a support group, so you can get help when you need it. Be sure to take time out from caring for your loved one, to pursue hobbies and activities that you enjoy. Stay healthy, and stay safe: although most people with schizoaffective disorder are not violent, if you feel threatened, call 911. You are a very important person in the life of someone with schizoaffective disorder. But taking care of an individual begins with taking care of yourself.